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Adultery in Florida: all you need to know

Adultery in Florida: all you need to know. What is considered adultery in Florida? Penalty for adultery in Florida. Charges for adultery in Florida.Divorce and adultery. Is dating during separation adultery in Florida? Is infidelity grounds for divorce in Florida? Is sexting considered adultery in Florida? Can you go to jail for adultery in Florida?

Adultery in Florida: all you need to know. What is considered adultery in Florida? Penalty for adultery in Florida. Charges for adultery in Florida.Divorce and adultery
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Adultery in Florida

Adultery is prohibited and outlawed almost in every state. It is a taboo in society that erodes a sacred relationship of marriage. But, what is adultery under Florida law? What are the penal consequences of committing adultery in Florida?

In this article, we will answer all your questions and clarify your doubts

Adultery in Florida video
What is considered adultery in Florida? 

There is no specific definition of adultery given under Florida law. In the general court of law, adultery is a sexual involvement of a married man or woman with a person other than their legal spouse.

If a married man is engaged in adultery, he is an adulterer, and if a married woman commits adultery, she is called an adulteress. 

Under Florida law, any person living in an open affair with another person while still married to someone else is liable to get penalised for the misdemeanour of adultery. If both the parties are married, both will get held responsible for committing adultery.

There are no strict laws for adultery, and it rarely gets prosecuted in a court of law.

Penalty for adultery in Florida

As in any other state, adultery is outlawed and taboo in Florida. Whereas many states impose strict punishment for engaging in adultery, Florida does not consider adultery as; a heinous crime. Adultery is a misdemeanour, not a felony in Florida. 

Misdemeanour is wrongdoing that is less severe as compared to a felony. Punishment for a misdemeanour is not much and generally up to 1 year in every prohibitory state law system.

Many states consider adultery as; a felony and prescribe a greater punishment for the offence. 

Under Florida law, when a married person indulges in cohabitation with someone other than their partner, they get punished as a misdemeanour of second-degree offence. If both the person engaged in illegal sexual intercourse are married to someone else, and their marriage still exists, both get held liable for adultery.

The punishment for the misdemeanour of adultery is prescribed under statute 755.082 or statute 755.083 under the land law.

The prescribed punishment for the person committing the misdemeanour of adultery under Florida law is up to 3 months jail or a fine not exceeding 500 dollars. 

Charges for adultery in Florida

Generally, crimes are of two types, misdemeanour, and felony. Misdemeanours are petty offences, which contain lesser punishment than a felony. It prescribes not much punishment than a year in jail or sometimes fine only generally. 

A felony gets charged for crimes of serious nature and heinous offences. A felony carries grave penal consequences and can put the offender in jail for years.

Under Florida law, adultery gets charged as a misdemeanour of second-degree crime as stated under statute 798.01. Those living in an open state of infidelity with someone other than their legal partner get convicted for the misdemeanour of the second degree; they get liable for the punishment prescribed under statute 755.082 or statute 755.083 under the Florida law.

Although there are penal consequences to prevent the misdemeanour of adultery, it rarely gets prosecuted in courts. There are no strict penal provisions that make it easy for people to escape from the legal consequences.

Divorce and adultery

Florida has a policy of ‘no fault’; when it comes to divorce. There is no need to prove the fault or blame the other party for breaking the marital bond. Any person can seek divorce from their spouse without giving any reason. 

The only requisite is that they are not compatible anymore, or the marriage is “irretrievably broken”. The incapacity of any spouse for three years before filing for divorce is also a ground for divorce. 

In Florida, there is no need to establish adultery or disloyalty of another party to seek divorce. Thus, infidelity becomes meaningless when it comes to getting a divorce. But it does not mean you do not have any other consequence. 

When a party gets involved in adultery, it may have a negative impact on the child custody case, the division of property, and assets and alimony cases. All the expenses on the extramarital affairs are taken into account while finalising a decree for alimony. 

Thus adultery does not affect divorce decree, but it can negatively impact other elements of your cases.

Is dating during separation adultery in Florida?

Adultery established where there is sexual intercourse exists. Taking someone on expensive dates, vacations, candlelight dinners, shopping, and watching movies, while pendency of divorce petition in court is not a crime. 

Under Florida law, you can date anyone while being legally married or during the pendency of a divorce petition; it is not a crime. An essential element to establish adultery is sexual intercourse. 

Thus if you are dating during separation and you get to indulge in sexual intercourse with a person other than your spouse, it amounts to adultery. If you are loving separated after a divorce decree gets finalized, you are free to live in a sexual relationship with any person. 

Dating can not alone establish adultery; sexual intercourse while your marriage still exists is a must. 

Although; dating does not refer to infidelity while separation, it can impact the decisions that come out of the divorce decree. It can affect your child custody case, partition and division of assets and debts, and amount of alimony. 

All the expenses incurred while dating can add to your alimony payment to another party or reduce the alimony amount you will get after divorce.

Thus you can date while separated legally, but it can negatively affect your divorce petition.

Is infidelity grounds for divorce in Florida?

Florida is a no-fault divorce state which does not require establishing any fault or blame of either party to seek divorce. It means there is no need to prove infidelity of the other party to get a decree of divorce in Florida.

In Florida, infidelity gets recognized as a misdemeanour of second-degree crime. There is no strict provision to penalise adultery, and it is not a valid ground for divorce. But that does not make it meaningless; adultery can affect the other elements when a divorce petition gets presented in court.

  • All the expenditure be it on shopping, dating, or anything that relates, is taken into account while finalising the amount of alimony.
  • Florida law states equal distribution of assets. Infidelity is taken into consideration while distributing assets and division of property. The court may give a partial judgement due to the unfair practice of any of the parties.
  • The other party can win the child custody case because of infidelity.

However, infinity becomes meaningless to seek a divorce petition in Florida. But, it is not enough to blame your spouse for adultery; you need to corroborate it further.

Is sexting considered adultery in Florida?

Sexting is when a person sends, receives, forward obscene photographs, sexually explicit messages, and videos; to other persons via mobiles, laptops, or any other communication means. Sometimes, sexting gets referred to as virtual adultery when a married person sexts another person who is not their legal spouse.

Sexting does not constitute adultery under Florida law. But, it can get used to invoke a divorce petition. Many states recognize sexting as an element of infidelity and can be used to corroborate adultery to seek a divorce petition. 

Although the unfaithful partner engaging in sexting erodes the faith and ruins the sacred bond of marriage, sexting alone is not enough to establish adultery. 

Is there any similarity between virtual adultery and physical adultery? 

The answer is no; sexting does not resemble adultery, even if it involves the elements of infidelity. The essence of adultery is sexual intercourse, which means a married person must establish sexual intercourse with the other person. 

Here, sexting includes exchanging sexually explicit messages but does not mean actual sexual cohabitation. Thus, it does not count as adultery.

To establish adultery, one must satisfy the definition of adultery beyond any reasonable doubt. Although the person does not get punished for sexting as adultery or penalised under other provisions that explicitly prohibit sexting.

Can you go to jail for adultery in Florida?

A person committing adultery gets charged as a misdemeanour often gets fined or sometimes may be sent to jail. Like any other state, Florida prohibits adultery and imposes penal consequences on adulterers. 

Under Florida law, adultery counts as a misdemeanour of second-degree offence, which prescribes a jail of a maximum of three months or a fine of up to 500 dollars to the unfaithful partner.

In Florida, for any person who commits adultery, that person gets punished for a misdemeanour of second-degree crime as stated under statute 798.01.

The punishment for the misdemeanour of adultery is prescribed under statute 775.082 or statute 755.083. 

Under these statutes, a person indulging in adultery is liable for imprisonment not exceeding three months or a fine. If both the person engaged in adultery is married, both are liable for equivalent sentences. 

If only one person is married, that person is only held guilty of adultery. There is no provision for punishing unmarried adulterers. Although the penal consequences are there, the misdemeanour of adultery rarely gets prosecuted in court. 

People easily escape from the penal consequences of these misdemeanours as there are no strict laws for prevention. The unfaithful partner only gets imprisonment up to 3 months in jail or a fine of up to 500 dollars.

However, if two people share a household or live together as a married couple while legally married to someone else, they are liable to get equivalent punishment under Florida law. They will bear the penal consequences, which get imposed under the law.

Read also

Versions 2022: March- August.

External resources: Myfloridalaw

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